Independent seeks 10th House seat

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A Lycoming County man has announced his intent to seek the 10th U.S. House seat.

Jerry Kairnes said he was motivated to run as a result of the recent government shutdown.

None of the candidates running for the congressional seat, presently held by U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, “advocated against forcing policy negotiations under the threat of a government shutdown or using policy as a concession to reopen the government.”

He said functioning government should never be used as a bargaining chip at the negotiation table.

Kairnes, 48, of Cogan Station, feels common sense is needed by everyone in the district heeding the call to fix the nation’s broken politics and to restore the American dream.

“I seek to unite our neighbors around the principles of fiscal and environmental stewardship, economic opportunity and equality under the law,” he said. “We need leadership who will put country over party, follow the facts and pledge to work together to solve problems.”

Kairnes said if elected he will work toward bringing a balanced federal budget and secure Social Security and Medicare, American energy independence and job creation.

Kairnes, who has never held political office and ran as an independent in 2016 for the 10th House seat before withdrawing, said he does not fit well into either of the two major parties.

“I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” he said. “I don’t want government to tell me what to do in the bedroom, and I don’t want government to tell me how to spend my money.”

He said while he agrees with Marino on some issues, including term limits for members of Congress, he feels the lawmaker too often fails to take a leadership role.

“Generally, he says what his conservatives neighbors agree with, but that does not translate to achieve policy change on the Hill,” Kairnes said.

As a House member, Kairnes would accept only a salary equivalent to the median wage of families in the 10th District, $52,199, and return the balance of his $174,000 compensation back to the U.S. Treasury.

“If elected, I’ll make what you make, and I won’t get a raise unless you do,” he said.

In addition, he said he will only accept campaign contributions from individuals, and nothing more than $250 from anyone who resides outside of the district.

Kairnes, the father of two children, is a building material salesman.

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